Wetting Agent – Lawn Test

Did you know that growing lawn is the worlds largest agricultural practice?
It is also the most useless form of agriculture, as it is the least profitable?
Lawn also consumes a large percentage of the water that is used in gardens around the world.

I live in a sub-tropical environment in Australia, the climate varys from being hot and dry, hot and wet and cold and dry. The hot and wet period only lasts around 3 months of the year, so that leaves me with 9 months of keeping my grass reasonably green.

In about September I purchased a bag of wetting agent from the local garden centre, not the water crystals but an actual wetting agent that takes the meniscus off the water and makes it penetrate into the soil easier (or so the packet says!)

I conducted a test on my front lawn, and now wish I did not.

Lawn

As can be seen in the photo, the lawn at the top did not get any wetting agent, the lawn at the bottom did. Both areas got the same amount of water from the same sprinkler.

Conclusion: Use a $10 bag of wetting agent on your lawn to make your water go further.

Is mowing the grass is catching on? A social experiment

Today I mowed my lawn. Nothing special about that I hear you say?

When I turned my mower off to empty the catcher into my compost bin, it was evident that a neighbor of mine had started to mow his lawn also. After I had finished there was another neighbor mowing their lawn as well.

That got me thinking, does the sound of the lawn mower motivate the people living around you to mow their lawns as well?

Over the next couple of weeks I am going to start my mower for 10 minutes to measure the reaction of my neighbors to start mowing their lawns.
I do expect that after most of them have cut their grass the reaction wont be there. I will keep you all posted on any results.

UPDATE:

Starting my mower twice over the last three days, once at 10am on a Thursday and once at 4pm on Friday, both times a neighbor started to mow their lawns!

UPDATE 2:

11/11/07 – After getting home from a party at 11pm, a quick 5 minute burst on the lawn mower did not yeild any results. The time of day may play an important part on the reaction people have to the lawn mower sound.

Fun Time Money Saver!

Owning a house does put a bit of a pinch on the budget, it makes you think about what you need and what you want. Over the past few days we have been having a discussion about purchasing computer games.

y partner really enjoys puzzle games such as Bejeweled, Luxor II and the like, she has been looking at getting Bejeweled 2 for our computer. While it may only be $20, I looked around for some freeware games that are similar in game-play with not much luck.

I was just about to cough up the money when I found a site that lets you play a flash version online for free… Now by free I do mean that it costs no money to play, but you may be subjected to some on the side advertising. We’re both much happier knowing that we can choose from many different games all for nothing.

Here’s a site we found!

Clear the charger clutter

We’ve all got one (or twenty) of those pesky little adapters for charging phones, iPods, cameras, or for running things like laptops, DSL modems, external hard drives etc. If your house is anything like mine then there are cords running everywhere near the computer desk.

Here is a link to a top little project that could be completed in an afternoon. Introducing the Breadbox Charging Station!

This project will also help reduce excessive power wastage due to having all of the chargers plugged and powered up all the time. One switch and you can turn them all off!

Planting Drought Resistant Plants

Today I went shopping at the nursery for some new plants for my garden. At present it is very bare, as the other weekend we had a big clean up and removed all the dead branches, weeds and had a big prune of the trees and shrubs.

It’s coming into summer (or wet season) up here, so new hardy plants are in order. You can watch a small clip of them here:
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Gj74HzR0yE 250 250]
Here is a little background on the plants used.Myoporum parvifolium is a ground cover which grows to around 1m in all directions, it can be pruned to any size. It grows rapidly, is drought resistant, frost resistant. It is even a fire retardant. The only criticism might be a definite blandness. There are small white flowers in April-May, followed by purple berries.
Propagation by ip or softwood cuttings, under mist, roots in 30 days. Australian native was once extremely popular in the low desert. It is fast given good soil and moisture but can also quickly decline from the same. Evergreen it will grow to less than a foot in height. There are other more drought resistant and adaptable ground covers available.
Gazania feature lovely showy flowers, which are large and brightly colored, and in favorable climates they can be relied upon to flower over a long period. The species usually produce yellow or orange flowers, but the plants seen in cultivation are mainly hybrids and there are countless color forms and seedling strains. Be aware that when you plant them, they will spread quickly and can become a weed in your garden!